tv Democracy Now WHUT July 17, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
07/17/12 07/17/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> hard to conclude we're in a good spot as a country, and a large part has to do with the record of failure, the casket of institutional elite failure from the housing bubble in the financial crisis to katrina pretty >> chris hayes on the "twilight of the elites: america after meritocracy." first, the food and drug administration's war on whistleblowers. the fda launched a massive
surveillance campaign targeting its own scientists for writing letters to journalists, members of congress, even president obama himself. the scientists were expressing their concern are the fda's approval of medical imaging devices for colonoscopy and mammograms that could endanger patients with high levels of radiation. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a senate report has found lax controls and an adequate oversight allowed mexican drug cartels and firms linked to terrorism to use the banking giant hsbc to funnel money into the united states. of the report found loose protections at hsbc's u.s. unit provided a "gateway for terrorists to gain access to u.s. dollars and u.s. financial system." among other allegations, the bank reportedly supplied $1 billion to a firm whose founder
has ties to al qaeda. hsbc is also accused of shipping billions in cash from mexico to the united states, despite warnings the money was coming from drug cartels. the report friends rampant violations at hsbc as part of a larger problem of illegal money entering the united states for international financial firms. in addition to hsbc, legislators called it a top u.s. bank regulators for failing to popular monitor the bang. -- to properly monitor the bank. it said lax government oversight has helped fuel financial wrongdoing. the report on hsbc comes amid widespread scandals in the global financial sector, including news the british bank barclays manipulated a key global interest rate. a former art as executive who left his job over the bank's interest-rate fixing scandal has testified he was directly ordered to manipulate interest rates by former ceo bob diamond
to. he resigned earlier this month just days after barclays was fined $453 million by u.s. and british authorities for manipulating key interest rates. a british probe found barclays conspired to manipulate the london interbank offered rate, or libor, which provides the basis for rates on trillions of dollars in transactions across the globe. the manipulation meant millions of borrowers paid the wrong amount on their loans. diamond has maintained he never ordered company officials to take part in the rate fixing. but appearing before british lawmakers on monday, former barclays executive jerry del missier testified to the country. >> i relayed the conversations i had with mr. diamond and fully expected the bank of england's views would be incorporated in the libor submission. >> what are you expecting to do? >> i would have expected that taking that into account, the
high rates, would have resulted in lower submission. >> the libor rate fixing scandal has spread to a number of other major banks with at least to the criminal investigations under way in the united states. president obama continues to push the campaign theme of linking republican rival mitt romney to the outsourcing of u.s. jobs. appearing monday in ohio, obama seized on in your report that tax and regulatory proposals within jobs overseas. >> there is a new study out by nonpartisans this is governor romney's economic plan would in fact create 800,000 jobs. there is only one problem. the jobs would not be in america. they would not be in america. [applause] they would be in other
countries. >> hillary clinton continues a middle east tour with a stop in israel. a visiting after weekend of talks in egypt, clinton held talks monday with israeli and palestinian leaders. in jerusalem, clinton said iran's latest proposals on its nuclear program are nonstarters and stressed the u.s. and israel should share the same stance on confronting the iranian government. >> as to the diplomatic track, i made very clear the proposals we have seen from iran thus far within the p-5 plus 1 negotiations are nonstarters. despite three rounds of talks, it appears that iran has yet to make a strategic decision to address the international community's concern in fulfill their obligations under the iaea and the u.n. security council. it is absolutely fair to say we are on the same page at this moment, trying to figure our way forward that the maximum impact
on effecting the decisions that iran makes. >> clinton was also asked about coming under protest in egypt, where demonstrators pelted her motorcade with projectiles. it was the second consecutive time clinton had faced protests in egypt, having been the obama administration's most public backer of the mubarak regime after the egyptian revolution began. clinton shrugged off the show of opposition. >> i was not offended. i was relieved that nobody was hurt. i felt bad that good tomatoes were wasted. other than that, it was not particularly bothersome. >> thousands of people are continuing a march in pakistan against the resumption of nato supply convoys for neighboring afghanistan. the convoys resumed after the obama administration apologized for an attack that killed 24 pakistani troops in november. led by the to my -- jamaat-e-
islami political party, at the march reached the city of peshawar on monday. the organizer said pakistanis are upset with the afghan war and with ongoing u.s. drone strikes. >> people are voicing their views that nato supplies should be stopped. the attacks should be stopped. >> u.s. forces have killed in indian fisherman and wounded three others in a shooting off the coast of dubai. u.s. navy says it opened fire after the victims' fishing boat ignored orders to steer clear of the u.s. ship. the indian government is calling on the united arab emirates to investigate. prosecutors in the indian ocean state of maldives have ordered the country's ousted former president to stand trial. nasheed is being charged for
ordering the arrest of a judge appointed by the ruler of maldives for 30 years before nasheed became the first democratically elected president in 2008. nasheed was ousted earlier this year in what he is described as a coup at gunpoint it nasheed's backers say the charges are politically motivated to toward his candidacy in new elections. to see our interview with president nasheed after you was ousted, go to democracynow.org. tens of thousands of people marched in tokyo monday in japan's largest protest against a clear power since last year's fukushima disaster. japan halted nuclear production earlier this year for the first time since 1970, but recent resumed operations by bringing a shuttered plant back online. organizers say up to 170,000 people took part in monday's protest. a female relative has accused
george zimmerman, the killer of the unarmed black teenager trayvon martin, of molesting her over a 10-year. . the unnamed woman says the abuse began when she was 6 years old and zimmerman was eight, lasting until she was 16. the woman says she can afford to prosecutors early on in their probe of zimmerman to disclose her knowledge of his family's bias against african-americans. a newly released recordings, the woman said she was concerned zimmerman had killed trayvon martin because trayvon was black. >> i was afraid he had done something because he was black. they have -- him and his family have always made statements that they do not like black people if they do not act like white people. other than that, they talk a lot of bad things about black
people. >> in ohio, a group of demonstrators blocked access monday to a well in trumbull county used for the dumping of waste from the drilling practice of hydraulic fracking. the protesters rallied to call for increased testing and monitoring of waste water from fracking site after a spell and residential areas earlier this month. at least three people were detained in monday's action. casino magnate sheldon adelson, the biggest republican donor and the 2012 election, has come under new scrutiny for possible violations of federal into bribery law and ties to chinese organized crime. the potential violations stem from adelson's efforts to build casinos and other projects in macau. investigation by the university of california, propublica, and pbs frontline found adelson may have violated the foreign corrupt practices act when he instructed a top executive to
give $700,000 to a macau legislator who aided his company's efforts there. officials are also probing possible ties between adelson's company las vegas and antonis organized crime. the projects in macau helped adelson amass a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion. he has given tens of millions of dollars to newt gingrich, mitt romney, and other republican causes, and has spoken of spending upwards of $100 million to defeat president obama's in in the next election. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the new york times has revealed the u.s. food and drug administration conducted an extensive spying campaign against its own scientists. the spying began after the scientists warned the fda had fully approved medical imaging devices for colonoscopy is and mammograms that endangered patients with high levels of radiation. the covert spying operation led the agency to monitor the
scientists' computers at work and at home, copying emails and thumb drives and even monitoring individual messages line by line as they were being composed in real time. messages monitored included emails two journalists, members of congress, and even to president obama himself. the agency also created an enemies list. senator chuck grassley of iowa, the top republican on the senate judiciary committee, has urged u.s. law enforcement officials to investigate whether the fda violated the law in its surveillance of employee email. in a letter to fda commissioner margaret hamburg sent monday, grassley wrote -- the fda has denied any wrongdoing in response "democracy now!" to a for comment, the agency said the --
to talk more about the implications of this case, we go to washington, d.c., to speak with stephen kohn, the attorney for the fda whistleblowers, an executive director of the national was a lower center who is brought suit against the government. welcome to "democracy now!" kenny first explain what happened, how you found out this extensive monitoring was taking place, and you exactly you represent? >> i am representing the seven fda doctors and scientists who blew the whistle on serious
health and safety violations and medical devices of being approved by the fda. one crt colonoscopy device they expose that made it onto the market, 600-800 times the radius radiation of devices are on the market. >> and the corporation that owned these devices? >> major corporations. this particular device and similar devices, and general electric. now, what these scientists -- i will tell you how it was discovered. this large domestic surveillance operation. one of the scientists was applying for a job and just went on to google to see what fda was saying about him or her.
we are keeping this person's identity confidential. and discovered that the fda had uploaded on google, thousands and thousands of pages. at least 80,000, i think maybe more, essentially, their domestic surveillance program, a large piece of it, got up loaded on google for everyone to see. we have a glimpse into what domestic surveillance of whistleblowers looks like in this country with the modern technological development. were the scientists monitored? some were fired, right? >> that is correct. the statement by fda is ludicrous. they fired these people after they learn there are going to congress and federal law- enforcement officials. they had specific targets, all
of their contacts with members of congress, specific targets of their contacts with law enforcement as they tried to blow the bassole on these devices. it is false and driven by these documents. the united states government justifies going after whistleblowers through these leak investigations. we have lived through it in the national security contacts and seen it in many cases where the agency's go to the public and say, "hey, it is a leak of information. it is legitimate." what we're able to see in this inside picture of domestic surveillance is it began with the pretext of a leak. in the opening documents, they targeted all communications between the whistleblowers, even if they had no access to the so- called trade secret information,
which is the majority did not, so they went after not just the one whistleblower who they thought maybe the leak, but six others who were just whistle blowers. and then it just devolved. then they learned there were going to congress, so they had specific targets congressional communications. then under federal law, all federal employees can file confidentially safety allegations with an organization known as the office of special counsel. by statute, these communications are protected. employees are given anonymity and confidentiality. kind of like we see in many workplaces. contact this number or office and we guarantee you supersecret and gas what? the fda targeted those communications. who was violating the law?
it was the fda because they were violating the confidentiality right. they're looking at the safety allegations before they were even filed with law enforcement. there were able to develop defenses. most significantly, we learned they fired one of the most respected radiologists in the united states of america, and a credible medical doctor, about 40 days after they learned he signed an agreement with attorneys to file these charges lawfully with the office of special counsel. yes, they worked intercepting attorney/client communications, watching them as they negotiate with counsel. they found out the specific date they hired lawyers to file health and safety concerns about cancer detection devices. clearly, they went into high gear. they wanted to fire him so they could present him as a
disgruntled employee concerned about his termination, to deflect their own wrongdoing. >> and what was his name? >> dr. robert smith who formerly ran radiology over at yale university. he is without a doubt in a critical -- and a credible medical doctor, an asset to the u.s. government. he had incredible skills and they did not care about that. >> i want to turn to an example of the way the fda intercepted the electronic correspondence of its employees. this image shows a photo of one of the whistleblowers dogs on their computer screen. stephen kohn, can you explain the significance of this? for the radio listeners, you can go to our website and look at the dog. >> what they did was put spyware into the computers. we're not sure how far removed. we know it went into some drives, their own property.
the spyware enable them to do keystroke analysis so they could get all the private pass codes of the scientists. so they had the ability to get into their medical records, financial records, confidential google to google communications. all of that communication they had. they also had cameras that would take a photo of any image on your screen, pretty much made every 30 seconds or a minute. so if you had an image on your screen your not saving, but merely looking at, and they took a photo of it. you could get a photo of a dog or anything else. that is what was going on. they to personal information, clearly. they actually tracked one scientist who was looking for a job. he had gotten fired and was looking for a job in the agency. they seized all his information. they issued a warning to this memorandum setting this doctor
is looking for a job again. there were specific instructions to monitor emails of him trying to get work. >> "the new york times clause which identifies the spyware is sold by specter soft of florida. it costs as little as $99.95 for individual use, 2008 and earned some $5,000 to place a program on 25 computers. -- $275,000 to place a program on 25 computers. their website says -- what about the enemies list, stephen kohn? members of congress on the list. who is on it? >> 1 congressman dan hollande was specifically put on it, aides for senate and house were put on it, journalists,
scientists and doctors were on it. this is the insidious nature of electronic surveillance. because once they have the first whistleblower, dr. smith, a target number one, they were able to learn who he was talking to and who was supportive of what he was trying to change. they were able to identify all the other whistleblowers, and then people who endorsed them. they created a list. this list set forth additional targeted monitoring or surveillance. so it is clear by looking at the 80,000 documents that they started specific searches into congress, and would use the names of the aids or representatives they were collecting through the system. so you can see how dangerous it is. the way people do emails with
chains and sending one to one person one to another, it is very easy to get caught up. you send an e-mail to someone, on your own computer, a privately, they sends it to somebody else, they since it to somebody else and it's caught up in the fda's spy network. but because they have no controls, they clearly were not interested in leaks, but suppressing dissent and learning who was blowing the whistle, what the were blowing the whistle on, and who supported that. this monitoring just mushroomed in the enemy's list becomes an integral part of the monitoring. you have to give a list to the spies to tell them who to look for. that this was growing. the first one we saw had seven people, the second one had 21 people. again, we have only seen two lists. there are probably numerous others as this campaign
continued to mushroom. we'll see what i call one of iceberg. it is still the tip of it. there are many, many more documents, and we have the information actfor mat lawsuit to try to get them all progress on the issue of spying within the agency, it goes back to 2010 or further? >> in april 2010 in response to an article by "the new york times," lawful article explaining about the over exposure to radiation, they commenced a series of monitoring. we of documents that go back to 2009 when a group of these scientists wrote a letter to the transition team of obama. we think there was an initial spy campaign in 2009, and then a second one in 2010 that went on for a long time. but it is confirmed the 2010 spying is completely confirmed
because the agency uploaded these documents to destroy the reputation of these whistleblowers forever. because they took rock, personal data from emails and put it on google. >> just looking for whether the reputations of scientists -- the scientist was just googling names of people he knew and found this database? >> he was looking at him or herself. they were in the process of a major job interview, and just wanted to know if the prospective employer was looking them up on line, what they would find. and voila, the scientists have all the documents. believe me, he or she merely had a heart attack. it is like, oh, my god, look what is out there about me. it is all private emails.
>> and the fda says it was a contractor working for the fda that posted these, what, 80,000 documents that show how an agency spies on or launches a massive surveillance campaign on its employees and then took it down? >> yes. and we think the agency -- we have this lawsuit. we fear they were moving documents into the possession of a contractor to avoid disclosure under florida. they could claim they do not have it. they have been fighting this for two years on the production of some of these materials. i do not think the movement of these thousands of pages from a government position to a private contractor -- it was not accidental or done with good intent. >> stephen kohn, thank you for being with us, attorney for the fda whistleblowers and executive director of the national was a blur center. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will be
>> kitty wells, the pioneering female country singer died monday at the age of 92. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a scathing new u.s. senate report faults the global bank hsbc for money laundering. the 335-page report released monday said a pervasively polluted culture at hsbc allowed the bank to act as financier to clients seeking to route shadowy
funds from across the world. plans included drug cartels in mexico, banks in saudi arabia with ties to al qaeda, and iranians who wanted to circumvent u.s. sanctions. the report on hsbc is the latest in a series of recent scandals have rocked the global banking system. barclays recently admitted its traders tried to manipulate a crucial global interest rate. jpmorgan chase has disclosed it lost only $6 billion in risky bets -- far more than originally projected. we are spending the rest of the hour today with the author of a new book that examines how wall street and other major institutions -- from congress to the catholic church to major league baseball -- have been crippled by corruption and incompetence. the book is called, "twilight of the elites: america after meritocracy." it is written by chris hayes was the host of the tv show "up with chris hayes" on msnbc and editor at large at "the nation's." it is a really interesting book.
what you mean by the title? >> twilight of the elites, we had a little book party in a somewhat swanky hotel bar and these folks were there from finance who were looking at it, "what is up with this thing?" they saw the book cover, saying, i thought you guys thought we were in twilight. i said, well is in aspirational title. what it means is, what we have seen in the last decade is this cascade, almost uninterrupted failure. i think with the system is telling us, what the figures are telling us, the current social model in the current mechanisms of elite formation, the extreme level of inequality we have are producing an elite that cannot help but failed. one of the most insidious aspect
of the current distribution of resources in this country, the current inequality we have, it is not just that it is bad for people in the bottom of the social pyramid but that it makes people at the top worse. the conditions them to be corrupt and incompetent. i think that is one of the main arguments of the book. what we see in each failure is produced by the system that produces those elites. meritocracy is a fascinating word, coined by a man named michael young in the 1950's. he wrote a book. it is in the vein of 1984 or "brave new world." social criticism about the future in which he writes about britain and the future that manages to use intelligence testing and productivity testing to select out for the people who were the smartest and the hardest working, and have them run everything. michael young says, tongue in cheek, "we realize democracy can be no more than an aspiration,
but we cannot have robot the people, the rule by the cleverest people." bitterness life, he was horrified to learn this word has been adopted as a social and model. -- later in his life, he was horrified to learn this word has been adopted as a social model. he said, no, no, i meant it as a critique. instead, deciding to outsource the import decisions to people selected out for their brains or other features. >> so you go across -- bow across the board. you look at climate change, the catholic church, you look at penn state. i would like to start there, even though we went to the whole list of banks. the scandal of jerry sandusky. last week, an exhaustive
independent probe concluded top officials at penn state university -- including legendary football coach joe paterno -- covered up sexual molestation allegations against assistant coach jerry sandusky 14 years before they finally came to light. the report concludes that eight -- sandusky was finally arrested last year, found guilty of sexual abusing 10 young boys last month. a former fbi director unveiled his findings on thursday. >> are most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard of the safety and welfare of sandusky possible child victims by the most senior leaders at penn state who also fell to alert the board of trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any other action against mr. sandusky. none of them ever spoke to
sandusky about his conduct. in short, nothing was done and sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity. >> that was former fbi director louis freeh. chris hayes? >> what is so remarkable about the details, how much it looks like the catholic church in many respects. that is interesting because there has been such a contested intense literature about what happens in the church and different theories about how much it had to do with priests and celibacy, the theology. >> and you grew up in the church? >> yes. to see it in this other contexts that you do not have the theology or priest celibacy, yet the gator is similar. the social distance between the people who are at the top and the people who their decisions
affect. there is this moment in the book that comes from reporting in "the new york times" in which a victim of a priest abuse in belgium, his uncle happens to be the bishop. he is sitting in the room with his uncle and a priest to abuse them, in which his uncle the bishop is prevailing upon him not to press charges on his abuser because the abuser is about to retire, and let's just keep it under the rug. the abuse of victims as to the bishop, "why you feel sorry for him and not me?" to me, that is the moral core of the transgression. between the bishops and the priests who they considered their club, and the parishioners. what we see in penn state is an identical situation. the coaches in the athletic director in the hierarchy of the university are on the inside and are all looking out for each other as opposed to looking out
for the people they have a duty to look out for, which are the children were coming into contact, sometimes being abused on the property of penn state. it is that kind of protection that produces crisis and corruption and scandal. >> in your book, you mention the academy award winning director charles ferguson and his documentary "inside job." in his book, ferguson confronts the former federal reserve governor frederic mishkin who served on the fed committee charged with oversight of consumer abuses. ferguson asked mishkin why he did not heed the warnings of robert gnaizda. >> he warned in an extremely explicit manner about what was going on income to the federal reserve board with documentation of the kind of loans that were frequently being made and was listen to politely, and nothing was done. >> i don't know the details in terms of -- in fact, whatever
information you provide, i'm not sure exactly -- to be honest, i cannot remember this kind of discussion, but certainly, there were issues that were coming up. >> the former federal reserve governor. >> the people like robert gnaizda and those in south carolina working among the communities that were on the wrong end of the subprime crisis, right, that were seen their homes foreclosed on, that were saying that would be stripped out, serial refinancing -- those folks started ringing the alarm bells in 2002, 2003, publishing reports saying, "we're going have 10 million foreclosures and this will be totally disastrous."
they were waving charts in the face of the federal reserve, giving them data. the federal reserve did not act. why? there are a bunch of complicated reasons. partly at the core of it, the folks in the federal reserve, mishkin and ben bernanke were saying, don't worry about subprime, which is complete -- were just completely removed in the world from where subprime was wreaking havoc. that removal allow them to sort of go along doing what they were doing. doing the things they thought were ideologically justified or unjustified by the data when there were not imbedded in that world. it ben bernanke or alan greenspan were in a neighborhood where this was happening, if they were walking down their streets every morning and see me foreclosures signs, if they had a neighbor who had been through a serial refinancing and had all the equity stripped out, i
cannot help but think the fed would have cracked down much earlier. >> jpmorgan chase, jamie dimon, you can give all sorts of psychological and philosophical reasons, but he walks before the senate banking committee and the guys on the committee, republican and democrat alike, have gotten millions of dollars from his bank and from him but i mean, you have senator schumer in new york who got something like $5.7 million. at a point when the public is thinking he is going to be grilled about what happened to his bank, how they lost so much money, they are asking him for advice. >> tremendously solicitous. interestingly, to counter the to barkley's before parliament, which were much more aggressive and rigorous, and the systems of campaign funds are going different, which is that as a british politics does not have
its own problems -- part of the problem is that this kind of elite solidarity, self protection impulse stretches across the public and private sector, and in some ways the ideological lines. people are going to move on from being senators to go work at big corporate law firms in washington, d.c. or logging firms that will represent those same interests. >> if they want to keep on being senators, they have to appeal -- john >> exactly. when we think about how money and finance works, money and politics works, just as basic dependency. "i want to keep raising money because i want to keep on being a senator. i do not want to tick you off." that is true. but there is cultural affinity. what happens when you spin on your time talking to people who are in the 1%, which is
essentially a job requirement to be a member of the american congress. you have to raise enough money such that you spend all your time talking to these people. yet conversations as a, "i am frustrated with this regulation and taxes are too high on x, y, and sees crime what happens is, the perspective that you occupy yourself gets very distorted. >> the obama administration defended the fight to prosecute any senior financial executives by saying their behavior was not actually illegal. this is president obama speaking last october at a news conference. >> first, on the issue of prosecutions on wall street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis in the whole subprime lending fiasco, is that a lot of that stuff was not necessarily
illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. that is exactly why we needed to pass dodd0frank, to prohibit some of these practices. the financial sector is creative, always looking for ways to make money. that is their job. if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it. so without commenting on particular prosecutions, that is not my job at the attorney general's job, part of people's frustration, part of my frustration was a lot of practices that should not have been allowed or not necessarily against the law, but they had a huge destructive impact. >> chris hayes, how does president obama fit into this?
i think he is extremely perplexed about why the very people, as he sees it, have protected, are turning against him now. >> from all the reporting in reading and research i have done, i don't think that his account of the crisis stands up. i -- he is right that a lot of what happened diwas legal, and destructive, but in tandem, it appears every time you go through and look at emails being sent, anytime something services a little bit, you see the kind of tip of the iceberg of fraud and deceit. and the libor scandal is a perfect example. we're just hearing the sound of the systematic rigging that was happening. it was not just our place. there's an implication that barclays cooperate with the investigation, that the other banks were doing it too. it is hard a thing, well, it was just cordoned off the way they
were dealing with libor. no. i think it is a natural thing to think this is much more widespread. and the fact there has not been criminal accountability and the widespreadness of it, makes average to pass regulatory reform -- in fact, they have -- much weaker. accountability matters. accountability is something that doesn't just come from regulation. it comes from criminal law as well. it comes from seeing your livelihood and life at stake in making decisions or in nurturing a culture in which decisions are made better counter to law. i do not think -- i think the absence of that accountability speaks much of the intent of regulatory reform. you have to have those two things together. ceo's people a trading desks, oversee billions and billions of
dollars. they have to generally -- genuinely be worried. i think right now if you look at the way the emails work, look at the casualness with which the traders in writing or reading or rate at barclays, these people are not afraid of accountability. you do not put that in an e-mail if you are afraid of accountability. if that is the culture and finance -- and i think it is -- that there is no fear of reprisal, then you look a systematic wrongdoing. >> we're talking to chris hayes from msnbc. his new book is called, "twilight of the elites: america after meritocracy." we will continue with him after the break. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. our guests chris hayes is the host of "up with chris hayes" from msnbc. his new book is, "twilight of the elites: america after meritocracy." people and emailing and tweeting questions. is the news media complicit in this lack of >> i think is partly, but i also think there's a lot
of distrust in the media itself. when you have distressed in the mechanisms by which even get information, it is hard to show average because people discount information they here. they are a lot -- there are a lot of folks who do not believe what might be reported on "democracy now!" orin "the new york times," because they've been told by the people they do trust, glenn beck or rush limbaugh, those are untrustworthy sources. i will sound a little bit like a nostalgic or conservative, but there is no common table the american people, too. there just is not. for better or for worse, i think there are great things about the death of the broadcast iraq and troublesome things about that. the fact is, the conversation we have about public life, even the facts and our disposabldisposals
no common table. we get them from different areas. that meets even when there is outrage, that outrage is specific in its targets and sometimes intention across the ideological lines critics the man asked about david brooks, a from "the new york times." he wrote -- your response? >> there is a whole variety of things. in terms of his assertion they
get there because of being hard- working and discipline as opposed to being corrupt, i mean, you can be both. in fact, there are a lot of hard-working, totally discipline corrupt people on wall street. i make a book length argument to support my contention is, so i cannot refute it here. i think people zeroed in on the idea people at the top work harder. i think that causes a lot of frustration and anger and people who read the column. i do not think it is borne out with facts. recent data about people at the top are working longer and in some senses, working longer than folks right beneath them, and that is a trend that has happened recently. it says something about the value people have for these your time. the choice being made to work harder or longer -- >> and longer may not be harder. >> and remember, it is a different decision if you're working a job you find
fulfilling, that you love, that stokes all of your soul, that gives full expression to our being then if you are a caretaker, a janitor, home health care worker -- a million different other jobs that people may like or not like, but do not have that kind of identity relationship to the way they are. and we all know people at the bottom of this scale are working incredibly hard. it seems like self justifying story to tell. >> and going from one job to another to another. >> exactly. the self justifying story he tells is precisely part of the problem. that is the self justifying story that is the heart of the problem of the way we think of meritocracy, which is the people of the top have got there because they deserve it. >> let's talk about climate change and how this fits into the picture. the 2012 drought disaster is now the largest in half a century, among the 10 largest in the past century according to a report released monday by the national
data center. the forest fires in drenching r. the incredibly heatwave this country is experiencing. how does that fit in with the elite? >> i think climate change is the biggest challenge we face. it is also a place where our inaction is the most dramatic in some places. people barely even give it lip service in the conversation and washington, d.c. anymore. the problem with climate change is that it requires a certain level of mediation to take seriously. if you live in youngstown, ohio, which has a massively high unemployment rate, you do not need anyone to tell you that unemployment is a problem read there in your family, you are them, you see the empty stores.
if you're in a neighborhood with high crime rate, you do not need anyone to tell you that. climate works in a different way. we're not as human beings he quit to just received what is essentially an imperceptible gradual rise in global temperature. >> but people are extreme -- expressing extreme weather. if the networks would flash climate change like they do extreme, people would know. >> we need people to connect the dots. that is part of it. we have this distrust in science, for instance, of theelite in general, bill mckibben made this point on my show and i thought was interesting, look, the wolf is at the door. the weather is freaking out of
it will no longer have to worry about mediation or even persuading people. he basically has this perspective, which i am more persuaded by, the climate disaster as it unfolds before us will do the convincing that 10 or 15 years of the press or scientists have failed to do. >> win "democracy now!" was at the u.n. climate change conference, i spoke to mark moreno was publisher of ", a depot," a website run by the climate denier group, committee for a constructive tomorrow. i asked about president obama's record on climate change request is the game is georggeorge oba'. obama has carried on bush's legacy. but skeptics, we tip our hats to president obama and helping to continue to defeat the united nations process. obama has been a great friend of climate change skeptics.
president obama could not have turned out better when it came to lack of interest in a congressional climate bill and lack of interest in the united nations kyoto process but a job well done for president obama. >> more rigorous and basically obama is their best ally. >> i think he missed in a little bit of trolling. i do not think -- i think it is not quite accurate to say there's been total continuity between the administration's, even on negotiations, but that is the place where there has been the most negotiations. in terms of the international trauma. there's a much cleaner break domestically. part of the problem we see, and this is why the great civilization challenge of the times, is that climate is the ultimate collective action
problem. you need states to get together, and everybody, particularly the wealthiest nations, those that have been responsible for already putting the most carbon in the atmosphere that have drawn out of the bank account the most, to take the hit, to say, yes, we will take the steps. precisely the framework increasingly happening. the people that are best equipped to lead the nation is the u.s., of course, the source of the greatest carbon emission. and yet for 1 million reasons, financial interests, politics, etc. -- >> and corporations pouring millions into these groups and ads in the media critic rex for all of those reasons, we're not doing what we need to be doing, which is boldly leading. >> finally, chris, what does america after meritocracy look
like? >> if you look at american history from the progressive perspective and a positive way, say from the new deal to now, i think in some ways that have been two years of equality, different kinds. unparalleled and i in repeated since economic equality, incoming quality, wealth inequality from the new deal to the 1970's. that has gone by the wayside. but a tremendous amount equality -- and equally in race, gender, sexuality. we a seen tremendous strides made in gender equality, strides made in racial equality, but still a ways to go. huge strides in the ways of sexual orientation. but i think we need a third era of the quality that combines those two. i do not think that is impossible.
i think we can have a society that is dynamic, free, prosperous british but also that and theh greater levels - difference between the extremes and everybody else. also, the quality along these other lines -- the >> and how will that be achieved? >> politics and movements. pressure from below. that is the case in what happens -- the new deal was greeted by a series of social movements that restrained [unintelligible] and crisis, actually, and with the plutocrats worked were discredited. i think we discount now as we think about it could the same thing happened in the amazing movements of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's across the quality of gender and race and sexual orientation rid >> we will post the second part of this conversation on democracynow.org his book is a "twilight of the elites: america after meritocracy."